May 23, 2011

Wasim Akram is upset after Pakistan Cricket Board sacked Shahid Afridi as the country’s ODI skipper. In an exclusive chat with Mobile ESPN on Friday evening from Kolkata, Akram said, “It was wrong to sack Afridi, who has recently brought glory to the country against all odds.”

The PCB discarded the maverick Afridi as Pakistan’s ODI captain after reports of his rift with coach Waqar Younis became public. The two clashed over selection matters during the ongoing series with the West Indies and the cricket Board was certainly not amused. On Thursday, Afridi was dumped and Misbah-ul-Haq was named skipper.

The PCB’s move to strip Afridi has not gone down well in Pakistan and Akram too is unhappy at the decision. He feels PCB’s decision lacks logic and it was disrespectful of them to sack Afridi for “trivial matters.”

“Arguments between captains and coaches are not new in Pakistan cricket. Afridi was hailed as a national hero after the World Cup, and came back from the West Indies after winning the ODI series only to find out he has been sacked. What is the PCB upto?” fumed Akram,

Akram pointed out that the Afridi sacking has once again shown the PCB in poor light. Akram has questioned the Board’s decision to appoint Misbah as ODI skipper. He feels the 36-year-old middle order batsman is “at best a stop-gap arrangement.”

“The present Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq is on the wrong side of 30 and I don’t see him leading the side beyond 6 to 8 months”, said Akram.

Akram, a former Pakistan skipper, said constant shuffling of players and captains never helps the team’s cause, and the latest decision may hit the team hard. “It is a wrong step taken by PCB, and only (chairman) Ijaz Butt is to be blamed for this”, Akram said.

“In Pakistan, the coach wants all the power and when it doesn’t happen, the fight begins,” Akram said. The former speedster, now the bowling coach of Indian T20 team Kolkata, himself has faced such situations and this time it was Afridi’s turn.

Pakistan cricket can never breathe easy!

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